Third-country nationals, including those from the Western Balkans who have been vaccinated with two doses of coronavirus in their home countries, will be able to travel to the European Union without restrictions.
The recommendation was made by the Council of the European Union on Thursday (May 20th).
The EU plans to approve “digital certificates” for residents of European Union countries which will serve for travel within the bloc. Until they are approved, the EU has decided to accept certificates issued by third countries and they must contain a minimum of data, based on national legislation, that will prove the authenticity, validity and integrity of the document.
“If EU countries accept vaccination evidence, they should in principle lift restrictions on non-essential travel for third-country travelers who have received the second dose of vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency at least 14 days in advance “reaching the territory of the EU”, it is said in the recommendation.
The European Medicines Agency has so far approved Pfizer / BionTech, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca vaccines.
The EU also approved the recommendation to lift travel restrictions for countries that, in the last 14 days, have registered a maximum of 75 cases of infection per day per 100,000 inhabitants.
So far, this threshold has been 25 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.
The EU has also updated the list of “green countries”, ie those countries that are considered safe in terms of the spread of the new coronavirus. Citizens of these countries can move freely within the EU.
The decision of the EU ministers is not legally binding as the member states individually decide whether to implement the recommendations.